MIDDAY MARKETS: Intel and Worldcom lead fall

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Techs fell into fall at midday Tuesday, with Intel, WorldCom, and a handful of Internet consultants leading the way. The Nasdaq tumbled 61.68 to 4,172.65 and the Dow Jones industrial average shed 11.84 to 11,226.94.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 6 to 554.17.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), down 3.81 to 70.13, got a downgrade from U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. The company also got slammed by Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), down 7.81 to 234.25, which claimed Intel's patent suit against Broadcom is groundless.

WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM), down 3.38 to 33.563, has agreed to acquire Intermedia Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ICIX), up 8.06 to 30.938, in a deal worth $3 billion in cash and stock. WorldCom will also take on $3 billion in debt through the deal.

Xpedior (Nasdaq: XPDR), down 1.56 to 9.25, joined the pack of plunging Internet services companies Tuesday after it announced third quarter revenue will decline about 10 percent. Other Internet consultants crumbling on customer defaults included iXL (Nasdaq: IIXL), down 2.19 to 6.19 and Viant (Nasdaq: VIAN), down 0.50 to 7.69. Scient (Nasdaq: SCNT) was up 0.62 to 22.63.

Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN), down 11.81 to 218.31, also fell after it said a customer won't be able to pay up the $28.2 million it owes. The company will see a charge of 6 cents a share in its fourth quarter as a result.

GoTo.com (Nasdaq: GOTO), up 2.63 to 22.13, has signed a $50 million, multi-year with America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL), down 1.25 to 56.5, to get its pay-for-placement search service displayed on AOL's properties.

AT&T (NYSE: T), up 0.13 to 32, has signed a $450 million deal with IBM (NYSE: IBM), down 2.38 to 131.25, to provide Internet hosting facilities.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 0.44 to 113.50.

Among other leading tech issues: Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) shed 0.06 to 70.13, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) dropped 1.31 to 67.25 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) shed 1.25 to 91.38.